By Elizabeth F. McNamara
EG police officer Humberto Montalban pleaded not guilty of cyber harassment at Kent County District Court Friday morning. He’s accused of sending harassing texts to a former girlfriend. Montalban, known as Officer Bert, had been serving as the school resource officer at Cole Middle School until he was suspended following his arrest in July.
According to Asst. Dist. Attorney Adam Kent, Montalban had been in a romantic relationship for several years with the woman who made the accusations against him and they had broken off the relationship amicably in March. The two remained in contact, exchanging texts on an almost daily basis, Kent said.
The woman began to date other men. On Saturday, June 15, according to Kent, Montalban texted the woman asking if she was on a date. She replied that she was not. Montalban allegedly sent more text messages, including an image of a man and a woman engaged in a sexual act in the woman’s bedroom.
According to Kent, Montalban sent a text to the woman on Sunday, June 16, including the woman’s parents’ phone number. At that point, Kent said, the woman stopped responding to Montalban’s texts. He allegedly texted he would talk to her colleagues about their relationship. On Monday, June 18, Kent said Montalban texted the woman an additional eight times, indicating he had more videos and he was willing to share them.
The woman told state police she felt Montalban was sending the texts for the sole purpose of causing her emotional distress. She first went to the EGPD. According to protocol, the EGPD gave the woman the choice of taking her complaint to the state police. State police investigated the complaint and made the arrest July 24.
On Friday, Judge Elaine Bucci set Sept. 10 as the pretrial date. Montalban is to stay away from the woman under a no-contact order filed last week. Under the conditions of Montalban’s bail, Judge Bucci gave him permission to visit family in Florida as long as he was able to attend all court dates.
Montalban, who was accompanied by his wife, declined to comment.
“I know Mr. Montalban appreciates the support he’s been receiving throughout the community,” said his lawyer, Charles Calenda. “I think that once all the facts are known there’s going to be a whole different light on this case.”
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